Fulton plane worth restoring?

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Forum topic by Tenfingers58 posted 07-15-2013 07:00 AM 8932 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Tenfingers58's profile


96 posts in 2675 days

07-15-2013 07:00 AM

At an estate sale I picked up a Fulton “Value Liner” hand plane, at least I think thats what is left of the decal on the handle says.

Made in USA is cast into the base.

The base is roughly 12×2 1/2 and the blade is a little under 2 inches wide.

The main fault the plane has is it looks like someone tried to flatten the base by rubbing it on concrete leaving very deep scratches. It’s also not real flat. the front six inches isn’t bad then it curves up about 1/16 of an inch at the rear.

Could I glue some emery paper to my tablesaw top to remove the scratches and flatten the plane bottom?

I’ve also thought of putting a metal sanding belt on my stationary sander to flatten the plane bottom. I just don’t like the idea of all the sparks in the sawdust laden machine. I could blow them all out but Murphy seems to follow me around. It’s not a great sander but it’s better than a burnt up sander.

Maybe take it to a machine shop and have them flatten it on their surface grinder? Most likely too expensive.

I haven’t used a hand plane other than a block plane in about 40+ years so any assistance would be helpfull.

12 replies so far

View Nicky's profile


695 posts in 4089 days

#1 posted 07-15-2013 04:28 PM

You’ll need to decide if its worth your time.

If you do, the emery paper will do the job. You want the sole flat. As for the scratches, I don’t think they they generally impede the performance of a plane (and I say this without know just how deep). A few of my restorations have scratches and they work fine. This may be taboo for the purists, but just my opinion.

The sander may be too much. You could clean the sander so you don’t have the fire worries. But I’d be more concerned with how quickly you can remove material. I have a nice Delta combo sander and my belt table is not dead flat, close, but not perfectly flat. I would think that your plane is close and may just require some touching up for flatness.

Take a black marker, draw some lines (on the long side), and work the sole for a few strokes on the sandpaper (on a flat surface.) This will give you an idea of how much needs to be removed. I’d start with 240 to get an idea of how much work is needed. If a lot of material needs to be removed then go with a lower grit to help remove material faster. Go up progressively on the grits till your happy. I would start at 220, then follow 320, 400, 600 1000 1200 1500. A little bee’s wax on the sole, and your ready to go.

-- Nicky

View rfusca's profile


155 posts in 1841 days

#2 posted 07-15-2013 04:35 PM

Considering there are corrugated soles – scratches should be no issue. I also can’t imagine why you’d need to go above 400 grit for the sole of a plane. There’s simply no need for a mirror polish.

A curve up on the heel of the sole isn’t a terrible thing generally, especially for what sounds like a jack plane. I’d hit it with some sand paper and see where ya get.

-- Chris S., North Atlanta, GA - woodworker,DBA, cook, photographer

View bandit571's profile


19989 posts in 2680 days

#3 posted 07-15-2013 04:42 PM

Decal should read “Value Leader”

I use a B&D Dragster Sander to clean and flatten soles. When in use for metal work, sander is clear of all wood dust. It does have a flat plate for the planes to ride on. No flex at all.

I have had a Fulton jack before. Nice handy plane. Sold at Sears? Similar to the Dunlap line of planes.

This is a Fulton jack plane. Look like yours??

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View JayT's profile


5627 posts in 2208 days

#4 posted 07-15-2013 04:48 PM

How are you planning on using the plane? If it will be a jack for rough work, you have a lot more leeway in flatness and the scratches. If you want to use it as a long smoothing plane, you will want it flatter and make sure to take any sharp edges off the deep scratches—you don’t need to try and totally eliminate them.

Any flat surface will work for flattening, just make sure to accomodate the length of the plane and your sanding stroke—table saw or jointer beds are commonly used. I do sole flattening on a granite slab with sandpaper rolls—if you use sheets, you’d want to have two end to end. If the sole is really bad, I start with 120 grit and then move on to 240, otherwise just the 240. Never gone past that and haven’t had any issues. If you feel so inclined, I suppose you could go up to 320 or 400, but anything past that is a waste of time and effort.

Good luck and post some pics when you are done.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View Don W's profile

Don W

18711 posts in 2565 days

#5 posted 07-15-2013 05:11 PM

If its really 1/16” out of whack, and you want it flat, I’d drag the belt sander outside if your afraid of sawdust. That’s a lot of hand sanding. Finish it off on the table saw top.

Like JayT said, if you plan to use it for a jack, the I’d leave it be, put a nice camber on the iron and you’re ready to rock.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Tenfingers58's profile


96 posts in 2675 days

#6 posted 07-15-2013 05:29 PM

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I started this morning flattening the sole on the table saw using 120 grit. This sure is going to take awhile. I’m not sure how fine a grit I’m going to go to.

When smoothing my scroll saw table the finer I went the easier the wood slid on the table. I went overboard and went to 1200 grit. After using it awhile I scuffed it back to 800 because it reflected too much light in my face.

Bandit, mine is muck shorter than yours. The front knob is 3/8 from the front, the handle is about 1 ½ inches closer to the frog and the back of the handle sticks out ¾ inch past the wide part of the sole.

I’ve worked on it now about three hours and the front is still up so I can put a .0225 feeler gauge under it with the back flat on the table. Most of the scratches in the back 2/3 are gone and those that are left I don’t think will hurt anything.

View bandit571's profile


19989 posts in 2680 days

#7 posted 07-16-2013 03:23 PM

Would it be a Junior Jack plane then?

Mine is a Stanley version. It is 11” long, and the iron is about 1-3/4” wide.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Tenfingers58's profile


96 posts in 2675 days

#8 posted 07-16-2013 11:13 PM


I’ll try to post a pic after dinner. Been a long day so far.

That’s the kind of shaving I’d like to see coming out of my plane when I’m finished.

I’ve got more flattening of the base to go then I’ll start on the iron. The iron shouldn’t take too long though. Glass and sandpaper just like my chiseles. At least there I like to think I know what I’m doing. :)

View Mambrax's profile


153 posts in 1489 days

#9 posted 07-20-2015 05:02 PM

Even if lower end quality tools, those Fulton are pretty cleaver in there design, i restored a few and they all works very well, so i’ll say yes !!! (watch for the frog adjustment).

-- Let's do the best we can !

View Ocelot's profile


1975 posts in 2635 days

#10 posted 07-20-2015 09:56 PM

I have a Fulton No 4 size that was fairly complete when I received it, but I stole the yoke off it to put on a Bailey plane (fits pretty well, surprisingly) and the knob and tote off of it (after refinishing) for another plane.

I would send you the base and frog (less the yoke) free if it weren’t for the postage and hassle of taking it somewhere to be mailed. If we were neighbors, I would give it to you.

I think mine is reasonably flat.

Very red, the handles were!


View Tenfingers58's profile


96 posts in 2675 days

#11 posted 07-21-2015 05:04 PM


After many more hours on the tablesaw flattening, and some more time working on the iron, it’s a working plane that makes shavings similar to Bandit571’s. I appreciate your input. Did you notice this thread is 2 years old? Not that it’s a bad thing, I have many projects older than that I could use help with or maybe a kick in the butt to get me working on them.

Thank-you, Tenfingers

View Tim's profile


3805 posts in 1959 days

#12 posted 07-21-2015 05:25 PM

Just think of it as stick-to-itiveness. Glad you got it working. Now onto the next one.

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